Category: Education

Our education programs include technical assistance to property owners, heritage education around the Civil War Sequicentennial and the Bi-Centennial of the War of 1812, and our ongoing Race and Place in Baltimore Neighborhoods project.

June 17: Baltimore’s Marble Hill–How A Neighborhood Shaped the Civil Rights Movement

On June 17, please join us for a guided tour of Baltimore’s Marble Hill neighborhood, which was the home to an astonishing amount of groundbreaking Civil Rights leaders. Reverend Harvey Johnson began one of the first collective action movements here in the 1880s. In the 1930s Lillie Carroll Jackson engaged youth in “The Movement” and pioneered new non-violent protest tactics that were later picked up in cities across the country. Thurgood Marshall grew up here, as did the chief lobbyist for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Clarence Mitchell. Most recently this was the district for the late Representative Elijah Cummings, one of the most powerful voices for civil rights in Washington. Join us to learn how fundamental pillars of the Civil Rights Movement got built here by driven, activist neighbors with their eyes on the prize. Register here!

A Wonderful Evening at the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center

At Baltimore Heritage’s 2022 Preservation Celebration, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center won a $500 microgrant to buy this tv screen! (Image courtesy of Kalin Thomas)

Last Thursday, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center (formerly the Women’s Industrial Exchange) hosted Baltimore Heritage and friends for a fabulous behind-the-scenes evening. We got to see an array of artifacts (many of which were found on the second floor of the building, untouched for decades) and exhibits that show how the building continues to honor Maryland women. We saw the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, which includes people like Margaret Brent, Pauli Murray, and Major General Linda Singh.

Pauli Murray, Civil Rights activist, advocate, legal scholar and theorist, author and – later in life – an Episcopal priest

We also viewed the Valiant Maryland Women: The Fight for Suffrage exhibit, which featured Baltimoreans Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Etta Maddox, and Augusta Chissell, among other Maryland women. Dr. Amy Rosenkrans then gave us a fabulous historical overview of the Women’s Industrial Exchange, the third oldest women’s exchange in the country! This was a place for down-on-their-luck women to sell crafts and goods to support themselves. It also had an affordable and delicious lunchroom.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, abolitionist, suffragist, poet, temperance activist, teacher, public speaker, and writer

She also highlighted where she wants her research to go in the future. If you have memories or stories about the Women’s Industrial Exchange, or know anything about Baltimore’s Colored Women’s Industrial Exchange, please contact her at

Image courtesy of Kalin Thomas

Be sure to check out the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center to hear about the courageous, pioneering and often forgotten women that have made Maryland the great state is it today.


Funding to Restore the Mitchell Law Office in Upton

The Mitchell Law Office in Upton is set to receive $1.75 million from Congressman Kweisi Mfume. This money will be used to transform the building, which was once the office of Maryland’s first Black woman lawyer, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, into a legal hub in West Baltimore. Rev. Al Hathaway of Beloved Community Services Corporation is spearheading this alongside his other project, the PS 103/Thurgood Marshall School restoration. Here is a link to a Baltimore Banner article that ran yesterday.

The Mitchell Law Office on the end, c. 2015
About 7 years ago, Baltimore Heritage secured $10,000 from the National Trust of Historic Preservation to stabilize the roof of the Mitchell Law Office. This was the project’s first funding and helped get the restoration going. We’ve been involved in several ways since then and will continue to help wherever we can.


The Mitchell Law Office restoration joins several other ongoing West Baltimore restoration projects including PS 103 and Upton Mansion (for the Afro American offices), along with the already-completed Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum. We are very near to having a critical mass of nationally important Civil Rights sites that have been restored, all within a few blocks of each other. For several years Baltimore Heritage, Rev. Hathaway and others have been talking about how to put Baltimore on the national map as a Civil Rights heritage destination. We’re making progress!


–Johns Hopkins, Executive Director

New Centennial Home Added: The Shivers, Steltz, & VanDyke Home in Riverside

On June 19, 1919, Sharon VanDyke’s grandparents, Harry and Edna Shivers, bought 406 E Randall St. in Riverside. Their daughter, Devera Steltz, was born in the front room and then occupied the home through the 1960’s. Devera’s daughter, Sharon VanDyke, currently lives here. This quintessential Baltimore rowhouse (marble steps, formstone and a Camark cat are all Bmore hallmarks!) has been owned by the family for over 100 years. On April 14, 2023 Baltimore Heritage presented Sharon VanDyke with a Centennial Homes plaque and certificate.


Announcing More Spring & Summer Tours!

We are so thrilled to be returning to our regular walking tour programming that we have decided to add even more options! Please check out the following new additions to our tour schedule.

Jonestown & the Shot Tower Jonestown is one of Baltimore’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. On April 8, we hope you’ll join Baltimore Heritage and tour guide Bev Rosen as we stroll past a series of firsts: the McKim Free School, the city’s oldest education building from 1833, the Lloyd Street Synagogue, the first synagogue in Maryland and the third oldest in the country, and the 1808 home of Charles Carroll, the longest living signer of the Declaration of Independence. And of course, what is a visit to Jonestown without a stop at the iconic Phoenix Shot Tower! Register here.

Maryland Women’s Heritage Center On April 20, join Baltimore Heritage on a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center with its Executive Director, Diana Bailey! Formerly the Woman’s Industrial Exchange, the third oldest women’s exchange in the country, the building continues to honor Maryland women with art installations and exhibits including the MD Women’s Hall of Fame and “Valiant MD Women: The Fight for the Vote.” Over wine and cheese, we’ll be joined by Dr. Amy Rosenkrans to hear the stories behind the artifacts. Register here.

Liberty Ship S.S. John W. Brown On May 17, join Baltimore Heritage on a special behind-the-scenes tour of S.S. John W. Brown, one of only two remaining, fully operational Liberty ships that participated in World War II. One of 384 vessels built at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, S.S. John W. Brown could carry almost 9,000 tons of cargo, about the same as 300 railroad boxcars, and could transport every conceivable kind of cargo during the war – from beans to bullets. On May 17, join us to go below deck and explore this preserved piece of history! Register here.

LGBTQ Heritage in Charles Village On June 3, celebrate Pride Month with us on a LGBTQ Heritage walking tour of Charles Village! Guides Richard Oloizia, Louis Hughes and Kate Drabinski will take us on a walk past local landmarks from the original home of the Gay Community Center of Baltimore, now the GLCCB, to the St. Paul Street church that supported the growth of the Metropolitan Community Church, Baltimore’s oldest LGBT religious organization, and the radical feminist writers and publishers that gave a voice to lesbian authors who might not otherwise have been read. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Pride and the incredible community that called Charles Village its home. Register here.

The Catacombs Under Westminster: Two Hundred Years of Tombs and Edgar Allan Poe’s Gravesite On June 24 and July 15, join us to explore the eerie catacombs underneath Baltimore’s First Presbyterian Church, now called Westminster Hall, and the graves that surround it, including the final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe. The burial ground predates the church, which was built on arches above the gravesites, so that the graveyard and its tombstones lie both underneath and around the building. All told, the compact cemetery next to the University of Maryland School of Law is the final resting place for over 1,000 individuals. We can’t wait to see you “Where Baltimore’s History Rests in Peace!” Register here: June 24 & July 15

We will be updating our tour schedule to include more Behind the Scenes tours of places all over city, so please continue to check our website. Find all of our tours and more here!

– Johns Hopkins, Executive Director